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Montreal art fanatics thrilled museums are reopening next week – Global News

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After being closed for the past few months in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19, museums and art galleries in Quebec are set to reopen as early as Feb. 8.

Montreal’s arts and culture industry, like many others, has been suffering because of the pandemic, and many Montrealers are ecstatic to get back to a more colourful life.

“When you go to a museum and look at a piece of art —  (to) have the emotion when you look at it, you can’t have it (digitally),” said Pascale Chassé, communications director at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).

According to some experts, art is a form of therapy– especially in these difficult times.

“Unfortunately because of the pandemic this opportunity has been taken away from a lot of people that were able to relieve their stress or ground themselves through art making or art activities,” said Reyhane Namdari, therapist and founder of Montreal Art Therapy.

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“Arts is important and culture is important this is something a part of our life and our community and without that it’s like you miss something,” Chassé said.

Observing, enjoying and practicing art is known to reduce stress and anxiety.

“Research shows that a lot of people that have been hospitals or are homebound because of illnesses they find that they can ground themselves,” Namdari said.

Some feel the Quebec government hasn’t done enough to help the industry.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Quebec reopens non-essential businesses but curfew maintained | Globalnews.ca

“The government seems to think art is a luxury and there are more urgent to take care of but of course we all know especially in this kind of difficult times culture is really important,” art historian Itay Sapir said.

The MMFA says it can allow 135 visitors per hour in all four exhibitions. Tickets to the McCord, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) and MMFA will be available on its websites.

“(There will be an) online ticketing syste  because you have to reserve your place to come at the museum now,” Chassé said.

The MMFA’s permanent collections, however, will remain closed and some aren’t pleased.

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READ MORE: Kahnawà:ke community members find comfort in beading challenge – Montreal | Globalnews.ca

“There’s no access to these works at all. I myself have not seen any artwork from my own field in a year,” said Sapir, who teaches art history at L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

During the time museums were closed this year, some exhibitions were running out of time — the clock was ticking and many end dates were fast approaching.

The MMFA says it has done its best to keep the art-on-loan hanging on its walls for as long as it could through negotiations and solutions.

“Sometiems it’s not possible because the exhibition is going somewhere else, or the loan is not possible to extend or we have another exhibition that we have to open… And you know it’s very difficult,” Chassé said.

The museum of fine arts and the McCord are set to open on Feb. 11 and the MAC on the 10th.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Food, Art and Craft Show set to return to Ripley this summer – Toronto Star

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Fingers crossed, residents and visitors to the area will be able to attend the Ripley Food, Art and Craft Show on Aug. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Community Centre.

The annual show is a showcase for local vendors, bringing them all together under one roof to connect with shoppers. Like so many other events scheduled last summer, the show had to be cancelled because of pandemic restrictions that prohibited large gatherings under one roof.

“This past year has been tough on small businesses, local artisans and our residents,” said Maggie Young, who handles community services programming and administration for the Township of Huron Kinloss. “The Township of Huron-Kinloss and the Community Services Department are committed to providing a space and hosting an event to help showcase local artisans and food producers, as well as re-introducing events for the community to attend. Therefore, every effort is being made to host the 2021 Ripley Food Art Craft Festival, keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of both the vendors and visitors.”

Young said all protocols advised by public health will be followed, and may include masks if required, the number of people allowed in the building at one time and sanitizer will be available. If necessary, booths can be spaced two-metres apart and directional flow arrows will be placed on the floor. Young says community services will “go above and beyond” what restrictions are in place.

Organizers also have a plan B ready, should it be decided that the event cannot be held on the arena floor. It can be moved outside, under tents, if necessary, and as a last option, held online with a marketplace and vendor focus.

Registration is now open for vendors, which has in past years welcomed 40-50 small businesses. Information is available by calling 519-395-2909 or emailing ripleyfestival@gmail.com or follow the event on Facebook @RipleyArtisansFestival for status updates.

All money raised from the event is directed back to the Town of Ripley and Huron Kinloss.

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Exhibit of Indigenous art at the McMichael juxtaposes history with the contemporary – The Globe and Mail

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The Nunavut artist Jutai Toonoo, a sculptor and portraitist who died in 2015, once said he didn’t like the term Inuit art: “I just want to be known as an artist.”

That tidbit of information is offered at the very end of Early Days: Indigenous Art at the McMichael, a survey of the Kleinburg, Ont., institution’s First Nations and Inuit collections. But Toonoo’s request could serve as a starting point for considering how a museum categorizes Indigenous art.

You could argue that calling Toonoo an Inuit artist is a bit like calling Titian a Venetian artist, placing him in a venerable geographic school. Or you might suspect that it’s an ethnographic category, distinguishing his art as something different, and therefore perhaps lesser, than art created in southern Canada.

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Today, museums increasingly exhibit their Canadian and Indigenous art in installations that mix the two (and often mix historic and contemporary too). Still, in its early days, the McMichael did distinguish Indigenous from non-Indigenous: Alongside the works by the Group of Seven that constitute its most prominent displays, the museum also holds an impressive but less well-known collection of historic Northwest Coast artifacts including masks, spoons and rattles.

A mid-19th-century Raven Rattle attributed to Albert Edward Edenshaw.

toni hafkenscheid/Handout

Yet even in the 19th century, the Northwest Coast carvers were not necessarily anonymous craftsmen, but also recognized artists creating both ritual objects and trade goods. The collection includes several pieces of fine argillite carving by Charles Edenshaw, one of the early Haida artists to be recognized by name, as well as a intricate raven rattle from the mid-19th century attributed to his uncle Albert Edenshaw.

Despite the potlatch ban, which forced art-making underground from 1885-1951, these forms have persisted: Early Days pairs the rare historic work with contemporary revivals. There, the showstopper is a trio of raven masks, two with beaks as large as a wingspan, created by the Tlowitsis artist Henry Speck Jr. in 2004-5. He uses marine gloss enamel to paint these magnificent pieces in red, green and white, but a much plainer mask from 1890 displayed nearby shares the same ability to bring wicked life to the raven’s eye.

The tradition in Northwest Coast First Nations (and in Inuit communities) of handing a skill from one generation to the next is just one thread animating contemporary Indigenous art. As curator Sarah Milroy points out in this survey, as well as historical work, the McMichael began buying art by contemporary First Nations artists early on. And, in so doing, it was recognizing figures such as Norval Morrisseau or Alex Janvier as artists full stop, no modifier required.

Artist’s Wife and Daughter by Norval Morrisseau.

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The room of this work, dating to the 1960s and 1970s, is actually one of the few dull moments in the exhibition: There is a hesitancy and flatness still as Morrisseau and his contemporaries begin to fashion a hybrid of Indigenous themes and settler media, launching the Woodland School. To recall how Morrisseau successfully invented a new iconography, visibly Indigenous, wholly contemporary and uniquely his own, you need to persist a bit further, to a room devoted to his larger works. It includes a fabulous self-portrait as a shaman alongside a depiction of his wife and child, as Morrisseau blows open both Christian iconography and the Western tradition of companion portraits of bourgeois couples.

Here you see the beginnings of what has become, in the last 20 years, the most exciting development in Canadian art: the emergence of a contemporary art practice that is both completely cognizant of international trends yet powerfully rooted in Indigenous experience, history and materials. The show includes a gigantic reproduction of a wampum belt fashioned from clay beads by Montreal artist Nadia Myre, whose medium was inspired by the clay pipes that European settlers brought to North America. Referring to the beaded belts that represent a contract between nations (a few historic examples of the real thing are displayed nearby), the piece is filled with the fraught history of contact, yet also works as an impressive modernist sculpture draped on a low plinth. Next to it is a black curtain of Tyvek housing insulation created by Caroline Monnet, again both a reference to a mournful history (and the half-build houses on reserves) as well as a powerful statement in abstract form.

Untitled (study for country where beavers, deers, elks and such beasts keep) by Nadia Myre.

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Early Days begins by juxtaposing a historic, beaded bandolier bag with a contemporary one made by Maria Hupfield with industrial felt and commercially produced pow-wow jingles, and it could end here, with Monnet’s black curtain.

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But there’s an addendum, a large room of drawings from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), the promised gift of Toronto collectors Chris Bredt and Jamie Cameron. They will complement the McMichael’s archive of the original drawings (not included here) on which the famed Kinngait prints are based. They record the recent development of independent drawing as the Arctic community’s powerful new medium.

To Toonoo’s point, Milroy has included a large colourful octopus drawing by Shuvinai Ashoona, one of the most lauded artists in Canada. The curator writes that the octopus “is the ultimate symbol of interconnectivity. With its eight fluid arms it can reach into disparate spaces, often all at once, or change its mind and retract into a clenched ball to wait things out.” (It’s that kind of curatorial charm, using vivid language to express fresh insight, that recently won Milroy the Order of Canada.) The octopus is not an Arctic animal and Ashoona, who had seen them on television, only developed it as full-blown icon after she saw a live one at Ripley’s Aquarium on a visit to Toronto: The artist and her work seem to summarize the universality for which Toonoo wished.

And yet, the categories don’t seem hard and fast. This gallery also includes two intriguing drawings by Siassie Kenneally that offer a birdseye view of holiday food, reminding the viewer that one distinctive quality of Inuit art is its provocative play with perspective. Perhaps we can speak of various Indigenous schools, yet also a contemporary international movement driven by Indigenous artists in Canada. It promises more glories to come.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection (located in York Region) reopens March 4. Early Days continues to May 30.

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Food, Art and Craft Show set to return to Ripley this summer – WellandTribune.ca

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Fingers crossed, residents and visitors to the area will be able to attend the Ripley Food, Art and Craft Show on Aug. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Community Centre.

The annual show is a showcase for local vendors, bringing them all together under one roof to connect with shoppers. Like so many other events scheduled last summer, the show had to be cancelled because of pandemic restrictions that prohibited large gatherings under one roof.

“This past year has been tough on small businesses, local artisans and our residents,” said Maggie Young, who handles community services programming and administration for the Township of Huron Kinloss. “The Township of Huron-Kinloss and the Community Services Department are committed to providing a space and hosting an event to help showcase local artisans and food producers, as well as re-introducing events for the community to attend. Therefore, every effort is being made to host the 2021 Ripley Food Art Craft Festival, keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of both the vendors and visitors.”

Young said all protocols advised by public health will be followed, and may include masks if required, the number of people allowed in the building at one time and sanitizer will be available. If necessary, booths can be spaced two-metres apart and directional flow arrows will be placed on the floor. Young says community services will “go above and beyond” what restrictions are in place.

Organizers also have a plan B ready, should it be decided that the event cannot be held on the arena floor. It can be moved outside, under tents, if necessary, and as a last option, held online with a marketplace and vendor focus.

Registration is now open for vendors, which has in past years welcomed 40-50 small businesses. Information is available by calling 519-395-2909 or emailing ripleyfestival@gmail.com or follow the event on Facebook @RipleyArtisansFestival for status updates.

All money raised from the event is directed back to the Town of Ripley and Huron Kinloss.

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